Going by the title alone, there's no mistaking that survival of one sort or another is a central part of the Ark: Survival Evolved experience. But sometimes, it's not enough to just survive. Sometimes, "survival" means killing a whole lot of other people.
Ark's new Survival of the Fittest mode is a to-the-death tournament in which combatants enter the field in a circular formation surrounding a cache of valuable items. It's a very Hunger Games-style setup, in which players can make a dash for the loot—making themselves targets in the process—or run into the forest and hide, leaving the others to battle for the gear.
After that, it's a perma-death fight to the finish. And to ensure that there is fighting, rather than a whole bunch of cowardly huddling in dark corners, the field will slowly contract within a "Ring of Death" that will force competitors together.
Survival of the Fittest will debut in a livestreamed tournament beginning at 12 pm PT on August 1, with 35 teams slugging it out for a $20,000 grand prize, plus various bits of kit from Logitech and Gunnar Optiks. During the tournament, which is scheduled to run for five hours, the audience can vote on Evolution Events, described as "powerful world-altering sequences that will occur every 30 minutes" like freak weather, a dinosaur attack, or a supply drop, that will mix things up even further.
We're currently trying to come up with a way to convince Chris to take part in the tournament, without actually telling him that it's a tournament—or team-based—because we think surprise online suffering (his, in particular) is funny. After all, look what happened to him the last time. (Or the time before that.)